shark liver oil

Shark liver oil (SLO) is the oil obtained from the livers of sharks, primarily Centrophorus squamosus, Cetorhinus maximus, and Squalus acanthias, or deep-sea shark respectively. It has been long used in Scandinavian folk medicine to treat multiple ailments, including wounds, cancer, heart disease, and infertility . Nowadays, it’s sold as a dietary supplement that promises to deliver these same health effects. Research on SLO attributes its multiple health benefits to its high alkylglycerol (AKG), squalene, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content The oil has a dark yellow to brown shade and pungent aroma and taste. You may find SLO in liquid or capsule form, or as an ingredient in skin creams and lip balms.

Benefits and uses
Certain compounds in SLO, such as AKG, squalene, and omega-3 PUFAs, are thought to be responsible for its purported health benefits. Here are some of SLO’s most popular uses and benefits that are backed by science. May have anticancer properties One of the most marketed benefits of SLO is its purported cancer-fighting potential, which is based on the extremely low incidence of cancer in sharks and supported by the oil’s high AKG and squalene contents. Animal research shows that squalene may protect against chemically induced skin, colon, and lung cancer due to its antioxidant capacity, which fights the cancer-inducing effects of free radicals, as well as by interfering with the cancer-causing influence of certain substances . Additionally, squalene is believed to reduce inflammation caused by anticancer drugs, making it a suitable add-on therapy during chemotherapy .

Boost your immune system
Fishermen have also used SLO since ancient times due to its potential to enhance immunity. Aside from activating macrophages, AKGs in the oil stimulate antibody production and enhance the function of Fc-receptors, which are proteins that contribute to the protective role of the immune system. On the other hand, squalene seems to work as an enhancer that improves vaccines’ effectiveness when mixed with surfactants — substances that allow the solubilization or stabilization of two compounds that otherwise wouldn’t blend. This is most likely due to squalene’s immunostimulating activity, meaning that it stimulates antibody production and a stronger immune response (8Trusted Source). Lastly, PUFAs, such as omega-3s found in SLO, may also influence your body’s immune function due to their anti-inflammatory effects (9Trusted Source).

Other potential benefits
The AKGs, squalene, and omega-3 PUFAs in SLO may be responsible for the following additional health benefits:

  • Improve fertility. Animal studies show that the AKGs in SLO may improve sperm mobility and speed.
  • Boost skin health. Squalene is a predominant component of skin oil or sebum. It provides skin hydration and protects it from ultraviolet (UV) damage.
  • Prevent radiation sickness. AKGs in the oil significantly reduce injuries, such as tissue damage, caused by radiation therapy.
  • Reduce mouth ulcers. SLO may significantly reduce the appearance of recurrent mouth ulcers due to its beneficial effects on the immune system.